The holiday season is upon us. Which means the tourists are going to be out in droves, you've got a shopping list a mile long, and you're going to need that extra jolt more than ever. Here are our favorite spots for an extra hot roasted Ethiopian cone drip au lait with almond milk.
And pick up some beans for those coffee afficianados on your list while you're at it.
Blue Bottle Coffee, which hails from Oakland, has five NYC locations -- one in Williamsburg, one in Chelsea, one in Rockefeller Center, one in Hell's Kitchen, and one on the High Line. Owner James Freeman is committed to making the perfect cup o' joe by roasting his own beans and using siphon and pour-over brewing for each cup. That means you may have to wait a few extra minutes to get your java, but one sip and you'll be glad you did.
The lines can be long at Stumptown, but this Portland import is worth the wait. They pride themselves on finding the best beans in the world and paying the famers a fair wage, so you should feel good drinking it. With two New York outposts -- one in the Flatiron's ACE Hotel, the other on 8th Street in Greenwich Village -- you should duck in for a special treat, especially since they have Doughnut Plant pastries to go along with the coffee.
Abraço’s incomparable cortado pairs perfectly with its amazingly moist olive oil cake. A cash-only coffee bar, this East Village gem is not the place to visit if you want to veg out with your laptop and get some work done, but the amazing food and rich coffee makes it a perfect place to stop in and quickly grab some nomz on the go.
Third Rail Coffee is known for its flagship Greenwich Village location, but the newer East Village hub is equally awesome, and both pour the best Americano around. Bonus: the staff is incredibly friendly, unpretentious and knowledgeable. They use Stumptown beans, which they roast directly into Chemex flasks, but you can still order a latte without getting side-eyed. Plus, they have homemade granola bars.
The cortado and drip Counter Culture coffee are the standouts at this Williamsburg joint, but Bakeri also has a great selection of baked goods, salads and sandwiches. Mismatched china and haphazardly stacked cookbooks make it feel like grandma's kitchen in the best way possible. Seasonal pastries are the ones to look out for and the rosemary, chocolate chip and hazelnut cookies are perfection.
6. La Colombe
La Colombe has three New York City locations (SoHo, NoHo, Tribeca), and their mission is simple: brew balanced and round, consistent, deep but not overbearing coffee. You won't find a huge selection of pastries, sandwiches or merchandise for sale, just a strong cup of delicious joe. Word to the wise: La Colombe does not have any non-dairy alternatives, so if you’re lactose intolerant this is probably not the place for you.
Once called, "One of the most civilized things about Long Island City" by Oliver Strand of the New York Times, this "pour-over" coffee bar is a little oasis for all of Queens' coffee snobs. The baristas are friendly and very knowledgeable and Sweatleaf stocks beans from Stumptown and the even more exclusive Verve from Santa Cruz. Pastries are baked fresh in house all day, and the bacon cheddar muffins are worth every calorie.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Stumptown was cash-only. They now take cards (just not American Express).